Diane's Cancer Blog

The beast is back.

After hitting 8 years cancer free on Thanksgiving, 2018, I thought I was home free.

Well, let's back up here a bit.  I met my love in 2015.  We moved in together after my youngest son moved to Florida in late 2016.  My kids have grown up...they are 25 and 20 now; my beloved grandson is six.  2018 was a great year.  I turned 50! I finally got a new job last year (after 9 years at the previous job!) that included fabulous health insurance as a benefit.  Jeff and I got married in October.  My oldest son had time in recovery from addiction.  My youngest son is doing well.

Welcome to 2019.  January 7 brought my annual visit to my breast surgeon.  I was going in for a checkup and to discuss some pain I was having with the implants. During the routine ultrasound, she found a mass in my left breast, which previously had cancer. Back in 2010 I had two separate cancerous tumors in that breast, which necessitated a mastectomy. I removed both breasts for purposes of reconstruction and thinking, quite naively, that I would no longer have to deal with the worry of breast cancer. And that finding of the mass has created a whirlwind of doctor appointments, biopsies, and  scans.

A few days after a breast MRI with contrast, I landed in the emergency room. Half my face was not working. My eyelid would not blink, I couldn't smile, and I was slurring my words. However, my forehead was working. The doctors could not decide whether it was a stroke or Bell's palsy. We opted to treat the stroke with a powerful clot-busting drug called TPA. Taking this drug can kill you. If you are bleeding in the brain, you will bleed out and die. And they told me that up front. I had to have serious conversations with my children, one of whom lives half a country away. So we treated for the stroke, necessitating a stay in acute care for 24 hours because of the medication I took. About six hours after my arrival at the ER, I met with the stroke doctor. He decided I had Bell's Palsy, instead of the stroke. I was grateful for this news, but upset that I had potentially put my life in danger by taking the medicine. I finished out my stay in acute-care and came home the next night.

People tend to think Bell's Palsy is just a paralysis of the facial muscles. It is that, but it is so much more. There is extreme fatigue; pain and vision issues as well. My face muscles have returned  95%. However, my vision is not quite back to normal, and I have pain on my face and scalp. But I am improving every day.

I will have a dual surgery.  The first step will remove the cancer and the second step will include removal of my implants and repair to the muscle.

Tomorrow I will find out the results of my scans...hoping this is just a local recurrence and not mets.  Both docs seem to think it is local, but the scans will tell.

I am hoping to have my surgery asap and move on to the next chapter of my life.  I figure 2019 can only improve after this.

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Diane, I am so sorry that all of this has come down on you. I know you are a trooper though, and with your husband and family behind you, you will get through whatever comes. I hope that the scans show this is a localized tumor. I also hope that you will continue to recover from the Bell's Palsy to 100%. You are always in my prayers and that will continue. Sending you big hugs and positive thoughts. Hang in there!
I am so sorry. I am praying for you. Try to hang in there. Big hugs ❤️
Dear Diane, hoping and praying for you that local recurrence is the extent of what you face, and the the recovery from Bell's palsy is quick and complete. I was so happy to hear about Jeff and your sons: things have been going so well for you, this may well be a painful but brief hiccup for you. Much love and stay strong!
What a horrible story you have lived through! We will all be waiting for your news tomorrow...holding you in my heart.
Now, I would've thought Bell's OR Myasthenia Gravis. But Bell's is a more benign dx as MG is incurable. Ironically both my bio father and Stepfather had MG. That 5% may not return. Stepfather's eye squinted more than the other when he smiled or laughed and to be honest, I found it cute and charming. Many Brca survivors that have recurring disease is NOT Stage 4. But it's always the MBC'ers that we hear the most about. Well, blessings on you, the hands of you surgeon for a positive outcome. Just remember to take those STEROIDS for the Bell's. I was shocked when the neurologist told me that nerves CAN rejuvenate themselves!
Diane I am so sorry I am going through the same thing on Jan 25th after biopsy and scans the breast cancer is back and I have also been diagnosed with bowel cancer. I am thinking of you, we have done it once we can do it again.
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Update for 2016

Hi everyone!  It's been forever since I've been on - I uploaded some pics of my boys, grandson and my boyfriend.  I've been busy, busy - working two jobs and trying to be a good mama and Oma.   I went to my breast surgeon this week for my annual check up and got the all clear!   That appointment always stresses me out - to the point I am almost physically ill.   But I am good!  The girls got a clean report!   It was five years back in November, 2015.  Hoping for many, many more!

Some good news...my son, who was/is an addict, has hit six months sober.  He is 22...young enough to change his life.  He has a lot of work left to do on himself, but he is trying.  

My youngest is a junior in high school, and studying hard.  He works part time too.   

Jaxxy, and his mama, are moving out of state, which breaks my heart.  I love this boy more than anything.   He truly brings so much joy to everyone around him.   

Life is good...Hugs to all that need them.   It's funny...I come back here to reassure the newbies that there is life down the road.  It will never ever be the same, but there is light at the end of the tunnel.  Does that make sense?  It helped me so much to read people's entries about "regular" life years down the road.  

Hugs and love to all!

Joyce In NC, MIchelle like this post.
Helen Marshall threw a punch at your cancer.
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you look amazing, healthy and happy. Life sounds great, I went to the doctor on Monday and I got a good report too. I am grateful. Keep in touch.
Glad to hear you got a good report!
Laurie likes this comment
It makes infinite sense! Life is never the same after cancer, but that doesn't mean it can't still be rich -- and well worth living. You, Diane, are State's Exhibit A of a survivor who's made it through the tunnel and now basks in in the bright daylight of life. Way to go, Girl! Big hug of congrats, B
Valerie, Diane like this comment
Your photos are nice and you look healthy. Blessings to your son also. My Joe drank his last alcohol beverage on August 20th, 1989. God bless and stay well.
Valerie, Diane like this comment
What a fantastic uplifting post Diane! Congrats onthe all clear for you and the 6 month sober for your son,tell that even though times can get rough there is also a light at the end of the tunnel and it is shining on him. I understand how hard getting and staying sober is as my younger sister was 2 years clean shortly before Christmas and it is so importand for the support to continue. Sorry that your little grandson is moving away, hopefully it will not be too far. Sunshine and Smiles to you and yours and lots of hugs your post made my day!
Diane likes this comment
Diane, I am so happy to hear you got the all clear--that is so awesome! You look absolutely great and very happy. What a beautiful family you have and I'm glad to hear they are all doing well too. I know you will miss seeing your Jaxxy, but I hope you will get to see him as often as possible. Just think how sweet those visits will be! Take care, my sweet friend, and please know that I wish you continued good health and tons of happiness! Love and hugs!

Martha
Thanks! I *am* happy...it's been a rocky road, but hey, I'm here! : )
Smurf likes this comment
Great news Diane. It has been a while and I'm just glad you are well and enjoying life in a big way. Keep it up!
Diane likes this comment
♫ Happy Birthday to you ♫ ♫ Happy Birthday to you ♫ ♫ Happy Birthday dear Diane ♫ ♫ Happy Birthday to you ♫ ♫ Have a beautiful and blessed day ♫ ♫ Love and Hugs ♫ ♫ Joyce In NC ♫
Diane likes this comment
Fantastic update, Diane.
It's wonderful to hear how you're moving forward, your sons too.
I'm so glad to see you back.
Hugs
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Vital Info

Posts

September 16, 2010

Tulsa, Oklahoma

February 9, 1968

Cancer Info

Breast Cancer

IDC

September 14, 2010

Stage 1

0.1 - 1.0 cm

Grade 1

Positive

Positive

No

No

Everything

I am indeed blessed.

November 22, 2010

Yes. 2019

2019 - new mass in left breast. 2010- None - I found a lump, which turned out to by a cyst. That cyst was hiding one of the cancer tumors. The other tumor was closer to my chest wall.

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